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Cervical spondylosis

SomuchpainSSomuchpain Posts: 2
edited 09/17/2014 - 7:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
History of chronic neck pain. Started about a year after I started doing ultrasounds. I am now 28 years old. I have been dealing with this for 6 years now. My neck is in constant pain I would rate at 7-8. Daily headaches. Burning pain in right shoulder blade. Left hand weakness. Pain shoots down both arms intermittently. Muscles are in a constant spasm. The worst is at the base of my neck. It is so depressing to be in so much pain every single day. Pain meds do not help. I have tried several muscle relaxers. They don't touch it. I have tried everything I know to do. Chiropractors, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, traction, nerve blocks, & trigger point injections. Nothing helps!! I still see the chiropractor and get massages as often as I can afford them. It doesn't necessarily help, but I feel like I may die if I don't have them.
My diagnosis is cervical spondylosis and degenerative disc disease. I saw a neurosurgeon about a year and a half ago, and he said that I didn't need surgery at that time. My MRI shows broad based disc osteophytes at every level between C3-C7. I have mild reversal of the curvature of my spine as well from the muscle spasms.

Has anybody been through this and have you found anything to help alleviate the symptoms?
Would I be a candidate for surgery?
I did have the l EDITED tell me that I did need the surgery, but I would have to pay the $20K+ out of pocket. So of course I can't do that, and ever since then I have felt hopeless.

Post edited. Naming of specific medical facilities or physicians is not permitted on Spine-Health. [b/]


  • a lot of the symptoms you're having. Pain in my neck with numbness and tingling and pain going down my right arm. Also tried almost everything you mentioned - saw a chiro (and I don't like them in general but I was desperate) who used a machine on me plus bio freeze, tried PT and it hurt like crazy because she did deep massage and that made me feel worse, finally into PM and my doctor tried CESSI injections and trigger points. Kept getting worse.

    I had an MRI done a year ago and my PM doctor finally told me in June it was time to see a NS. I had a problem with osteophytes all along my cervical spine, foraminal narrowing and disk compression, and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and cervical spondylosis. My discs were shot. Went in for a four level ACDF (c3-c7) a month ago. He removed the osteophytes and took bone from my iliac crest to repair my discs, along with screws and plates to stabilize everything.

    When I woke up all of the tingling and numbness and pain down my arm were gone. I've just been dealing with post OP healing and surgical pain for the past month.

    I would suggest seeing the best NS in your area. Ask your doctor (PCP, pain management, etc.) who *they* would go to for cervical spine surgery. Get more than one opinion from a qualified NS if need be.

    The recovery is tough and I've had some rough days and some anxiety issues post OP out of fear of injuring myself, but so far, overall it was worth it. My pain and the constant numbness and tingling and heavy sensation in my arm and hand was driving me out of my head and making it almost impossible for me to work.

    I hope you find some relief soon!

    ETA: One more point - find a NS who is on your medical plan. Paying that type of money out of pocket is insane.
    4 level ACDF, C3-C7 with iliac bone crest graft with hardware on August 22nd.
  • Thank you so much for your comments!! I do hope to find some relief soon!! Good luck on your recovery!!
  • I had a lot of the same symptoms that you have. I had disc herniations at C5 and C6 with spinal compression and myelopathy, I went through on and off pain for 2 yrs before it became an every day thing earlier this year. I hated being in pain all the time. I wasn't too keen on going to a chiropractor in the past but I have him to thank now because with out him, I wouldn't have gotten anyone to take it seriously. My PCP was pretty useless. They just kept giving me more drugs and say it will go away in time. My Chiropractor tried several things without success and then ordered the MRI where they found my disc issue. I was referred to a neuro surgeon and had surgery scheduled pretty quickly because of the spinal cord compression. I am now 1.5 wks post op.. The first couple of days were horrid but now I am feeling a lot better. It didn't take all of the pain away but it is manageable. I hope you get the help you need.
    Tracie C
  • I am experiencing something very similar myself, and boy some answers would be nice. I am 31 years old and since February I have had neck pain that gets so bad, it feels like my head could just fall off. I wake up with sharp pain in my ulnar nerve that goes from my shoulder to the bend in my right arm all the way down to my fingers which are tingly and numb. At first I thought I had better go see a chiropractor. Unfortunately after each visit I felt much worse. My doctor had me go to physical therapy which also had me feeling much worse. I tried therapeutic touch massage, acupuncture, advanced physical therapy using traction (ouch), yoga, postural changes, dietary changes and nothing was helping. I was waking with what felt like a pinched nerve in my neck once a week. So as soon as I could turn my head again, it would feel pinched again. I finally went to the ER one night not able to move my head, turn my spine much, and my arms were completely numb. They gave me an x-ray, pain meds, and a steroid shot in my spine. They recommended that my doctor schedule me an MRI. The MRI findings were degenerative disk disease, disk bulges in my C4, C5, C6, straightening lordosis, and sporadic nerve compression when erect. After finding out what was causing my pain I asked to see a neurosurgeon. When I went he wasnt concerned with me and asked me to be tested for carpal tunnel. I was referred to a pain management clinic and was put on 7.5 Percocet every 6 hours. This was after trying many different muscle relaxers, NSAIDS, and hydrocodon all with no relief. The percocets worked for the pain at first, but I am not a pill taker. I just wanted to be fixed. I have done every exercise and bought wedges to sleep on and I am not getting any better. My Percocets would wear off after just three hours and I went back in to see my Pain Management doctor. He gave me an epidural block injection. I think it helped for about two days. Then after a month of agony he gave me another injection and I am scheduled to get another in two weeks. I told him I didnt want to take percocet like I was and asked to please put me on something else that wasnt likely to wear off so quickly and cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. He gave me a fentinal 25 patch and while I was relieved it was working to relieve the pain, I still dont have a clue as to what is going to fix this problem unless I get surgery. Also, I had no idea until reading further on the patch at how dependent the body becomes to it and getting off of it seems to be difficult. I am feeling quite discouraged here and while in the beginning I was doing everything I could possibly do to stay away from surgery, I am now seriously having to consider it being my final option.

    I am thankful however to finally find a forum and hear about others that are experiencing a similar issue. I dont know anyone who has had this happen to them and being alone in this has made things difficult.
    Ashley Miller
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